Dear readers of 1P5,
Over the past couple of years, Maike Hickson has become a very important part of our work here. She has helped us greatly in our coverage of European stories, particularly in the German-language press. She has built relationships with other international Catholic writers and thinkers like Marco Tosatti and Roberto de Mattei, among others. She has established communications with critical prelates in the Church — including members of the curia — which has not only given us access to their thoughts, but has given them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the stories we cover. And she has done it all with one overarching motivation: her love for the Church, for Our Lady, for Our Blessed Lord, and for souls.
Behind the scenes, her work is greatly influenced and guided by her husband, Dr. Robert Hickson, who himself followed a career of distinguished military service with an equally long and illustrious tenure as a Catholic speaker and writer. Among other positions he held, he served as Professor and Chairman of the Literature and Latin department at Christendom college in Virginia, where he was a founding member of the faculty. Over the time I’ve worked with Maike, I’ve gotten to know Robert somewhat, having spoken with him a number of times on the phone as he gave important background on developments that occurred in the Church since the council, or as he filled me in on the thoughts of men like his friend Fr. John Hardon, his mentor Josef Pieper, and a host of other names many Catholics — especially traditional Catholics — would know well. I am always astonished at not just the breadth and scope of his knowledge, but at his magnanimity and good humor. He never treated me as less than an equal, which, having listened attentively to his words like a student to a teacher, I can assure you I am not.
Over the past week, Robert has fallen gravely ill. He had a heart attack last weekend, and has been in the hospital with complications ever since. Today, I received the following update from Maike:
Please allow me to approach you with a personal request for prayer. My dear husband, Dr. Robert Hickson, recently had a heart attack and is in the Intensive Care Unit. His heart is very weak, he has received three stents in his heart now, but his heart beat was yesterday so irregular that he went twice into cardiac arrest, and the nurses had to revive him. Our two little children [ages 9 and 7] need their wonderful father so much; I need my husband. The despairing idea of possibly losing him is what drives me to this unusual step. I thank you already now from my heart for your assistance in the Lord.
I ask you to please pray for Robert Hickson, for his recovery, and for strength and consolation for Maike and their children. They are not just colleagues in our work here, but friends; a very real part of the 1P5 community.
Thank you in advance for your kindness.